Jan 28, 2012
“Already There” by Casting Crowns
Jan 28, 2012
“Already There” by Casting Crowns
Be strong in the Lord and in his great power. EPHESIANS 6:10
I stand a few feet from a mirror and see the face of a man who failed, … who failed his Maker. Again. I promised I
wouldn’t, but I did. I was quiet when I should have been bold. I took a seat when I should have taken a stand.
If this were the first time, it would be different. But it isn’t. How many times can one fall and expect to be caught? …
Your eyes look in the mirror and see a sinner, a failure, a promise-breaker. But by faith you look in the mirror and see a robed prodigal bearing the ring of grace on your finger and the kiss of your Father on your face.…
Your eyes see your faults. Your faith sees your Savior.
Your eyes see your guilt. Your faith sees his blood.
When God Whispers Your Name
Spiritual independence means living outside the restrictions of God’s will and choosing instead to please ourselves. As believers, we frequently take matters into our own hands, despite God’s promise for perfect provision.
Desires can blind us. We either want what we don’t have or aren’t satisfied with what we do have. We chafe at the constraints of our faith that call us to deny ourselves and obey God (Luke 9:23). Personal satisfaction becomes a priority, opening us to deception. The Enemy paints a beautiful, albeit untrue, picture of how things will be if we just change our circumstances. We start believing the lie that gratification can be found elsewhere and forget the truth that our life is complete in Christ (Eph. 1:3).
When this lie exerts influence over us, our ability to make Christ-centered decisions is crucial. Unless we sift our desires through the will of God and hold onto the truth that His grace is sufficient (2 Cor. 12:9), we will choose to act independently of Him. Though we’ll make a decision that sounds right, looks good, and seems harmless, in actuality we are departing from God’s good and perfect will. For a period of time, we may find delight in walking outside of His plan. Sin—doing what we want instead of what God wants—brings temporary pleasure but is followed by despair and, many times, disaster.
No matter how far you have wandered spiritually, turn back to the Lord. Like the father in the story of the Prodigal Son, God waits to welcome you home. In Him, you will find all you need (Eph. 3:18-19).
“But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.” (Jude 1:10)
Both Jude and Peter use essentially the same terms when they speak of people who are like “brute beasts” (2 Peter 2:12). Both use the qualifying adjective “natural” to draw a precise distinction between those who are only alive physically and those who have been given eternal life by the Spirit of God.
Prior to being twice-born, all men are “by nature the children of wrath” (Ephesians 2:3) and have not yet been given “the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:4). Such “natural” people are “sensual, having not the Spirit” (Jude 1:19) and therefore cannot receive “the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14).
These strong pictures are not incidental for understanding the challenge to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 1:3). Jude and Peter are describing the intransigence of those who resist the truth—especially of the “tares” who have been planted by the Enemy among the “wheat” in the Lord’s field (Matthew 13:24-30).
The Greek term translated “brute” by both Jude and Peter is a combination of the negative particle a and the basic word for intelligent communication, logos. We must therefore expect the resistance to take form “without reason.” The unsaved cannot understand God’s message without the transformation of the new birth. Their efforts to undermine “the faith” will always be based on human (natural) reasoning.
Contending for the faith will always be a “labour, striving according to his working” (Colossians 1:29). May God grant us a “good fight,” having “kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7). HMM III
He is the Rock, His work is perfect; for all His ways are judgment; a God of truth, and without iniquity, just and right is He.—Deuteronomy 32:4.
We are His people, and the sheep of His pasture.—Psalm 100:3. The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.— Psalm 23:1, 4.
DUTIES are ours, events are the Lord’s; when our faith goeth to meddle with events, and to hold a court (if I may so speak) upon God’s Providence, and beginneth to say, “How wilt Thou do this or that?” we lose ground; we have nothing to do there; it is our part to let the Almighty exercise His own office, and steer His own helm; there is nothing left us, but to see how we may be approved of Him, and how we may roll the weight of our weak souls, in well-doing, upon Him who is God omnipotent, and when what we thus essay miscarrieth, it shall neither be our sin nor cross. SAMUEL RUTHERFORD.
Shall there be a mutiny among the flocks and herds, because their lord or their shepherd chooses their pastures, and suffers them not to wander into deserts and unknown ways? JEREMY TAYLOR.
They shall see his face. Revelation 22:4
I beseech thee shew me thy glory. And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. — No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
Every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. —I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh.
I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God. — I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness. — We shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. — The Lord himself shall descend from heaven … the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Exodus 33:18,20. John 1:18. Rev 1:7. Numbers 24:17. Job 19:25,26. Psalm 17:15. 1 John 3:2. 1 Thessalonians 4:16,17.
In everything ye are enriched by him. 1 Corinthians 1:5
When we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. — He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall be not with him also freely give us all things?
In him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine ye are the branches: he that abideth in me and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. —To will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. — Unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. — Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom.
Romans 5:6. Romans 8:32. Colossians 2:9,10. John 15:4,5. Romans 7:18. Ephesians 4:7. John 15:7. Colossians 3:16.